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Growing potential from investment in automation

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Over half (53 per cent) of manufacturers in the East of England have invested in automation and robotics in their operations - against 58 nationally – and almost two thirds see opportunities for further investment in robotics, according to a survey by Barclays.

It says an extra £1.2bn invested nationally by manufacturers into robotics and automation over the next decade could increase the sector’s international competitiveness and boost the UK economy by up to £60.5bn, providing a major opportunity for manufacturers in the region. It could also help safeguard  73,500 additional jobss in 2025 across the UK, as the sector becomes more competitive.

Funding needed to increase automation uptake

The research also identified barriers to manufacturing automation in the region which could be addressed. Factors cited included lack of funding within the business (28%), the time and investment needed (26%), competing demands for capital expenditure (21%) and the lack of flexibility of automation solutions (19%) as current barriers to greater automation investment.

Almost a third (32%) of East of England manufacturers highlighted the need for more investment from within the business and the same number cited the need for more flexible equipment, where one piece of equipment can accomplish multiple tasks. An increase in availability of funding from external sources (25%) and a reduction in the costs of automation equipment (25%) would also help with the adoption of automation solutions according to the respondents.

Jane Galvin, managing director, corporate banking at Barclays Eastern region, Barclays said: “It’s encouraging to see that manufacturers in the East of England are open to the possibilities of further investment. This report demonstrates that, with the right support to address some of the barriers to investment, the region is ready and able to play its part in embracing automation."

Last Updated ( Friday, 04 December 2015 10:41 )